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The Guide To Cleaning Travertine Tiles

February 25, 2019

Cleaning your travertine tiles is a simple task, however, don’t let this fool you – it is easy to make mistakes when caring and cleaning your tiles. Your Travertine paving can and probably will outlast everything else in your home, but there are steps you can make to ensure that they are in pristine condition.

In this guide, we will discuss the best ways to clean travertine tiles, including what you should and should not be doing.

What Not To Do/Things To Avoid

Don’t Use Acidic Products

One of the most important points of this guide – do NOT use acidic products when cleaning travertine tiles.
The composition of products which are acidic (think citruses, vinegar, ammonia, etc) are not a friend of travertine.

Acidic products can permanently damage travertine and any sealer that has been used to fill pores, leaving the stone vulnerable and stained – which can remain permanent in some cases.

Avoid Generic Store-Bought Products

Most generic store-bought products used for universal cleaning, cannot be applied to travertine tiles. These products can contain acidic and alkali properties.
As these products are not designed for cleaning natural stone, many will contain chemicals which can, like acidic substances, strip any sealer you have applied and leave permanent staining.

Avoid Placing Toiletries on Your Travertine Tiles

Travertine is often used in bathrooms, providing a sleek and beautiful look.
To maintain this look, it is vital that tiles are cared for properly.

By placing items such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, colognes, creams, etc – directly on a travertine tiled top, you may cause permanent damage.

Many of these toiletries can affect and eventually erode at the travertine, through leaking oils and coloured stains. This can leave some nasty-looking rings.
Think of your travertine tiles in a similar way you would a sponge – if you were to put a few drops of blue dye on a sponge, the sponge would immediately soak the dye up, and remain within the sponge.
Travertine is no different.

The best thing to do in this position is to place all your toiletries upon a shelf, have something between the travertine and your toiletries (e.g. a soap dish to hold your soap) or move them to another location.

Don’t Be Cheap When Cleaning Your Tiles

We all love to save a dollar here and there, it’s safe to say this about everyone. Why spend more when you don’t need to?
Yet, when cleaning and caring for your travertine tiles, the cheaper way is not the better way, as it may cost you more in the long run if done incorrectly.

Many cheaper products, like generic store-bought products, are not built for cleaning in this specific application.
The best thing to do is to buy products which are specifically tailored for cleaning travertine – which you can be found in many stone stores and even some larger industrial stores like Bunnings or Masters.

What To Do

Clean Spills Immediately

This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people in our busy day and age are procrastinators.
This is not something you want to be doing with your travertine tiles, you want to be cleaning them immediately.

We’ve discussed earlier that travertine tiles are like a sponge, and acidic substances such as wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, sodas, toiletry & cleaning products, etc can stain the surface, and dull the beautiful finish your tiles once had.
If you accidentally spill something, clean up immediately.

What can I clean my tiles with, you ask? Good question, we have the answer below.

 Clean Surfaces and Spillages Using a Sponge Or Soft Cloth

Travertine is best cleaned with some hot water and a cloth, on a regular basis (as regular as you would vacuum). Any crumbs or small messes that are made, you can do a minor clean with some hot water and a cloth, immediately. It is usually also beneficial to keep some stone cleaner for those larger messes that can occur, especially when entertaining.

Dust and Mop Your Travertine Tiles Regularly

With an area that is covered by travertine tiles, there is a certain method to adapt when cleaning as your “regular clean”.
A clean, dry and non-treated dust mop is the best piece of equipment you can have.
A vacuum (especially the older models), whilst being able to clean a slightly faster, can damage travertine with its’ wheels or worn parts, scratching the surface.
As the surface is often naturally pitted, especially in an unfilled and tumbled finish, scratches aren’t usually obvious but these scratches are near impossible to remove, so treat with care.
Mopping with the specialised stone cleaner will see your tiles in pristine condition for a long time to come, and they can often outlast everything surrounding your home.

So there you have it! The perfect guide to making sure you’re keeping your travertine tiles clean and what to do to avoid any permanent damage.

Do you have a specific way of cleaning your tiles, or have another method or tip we didn’t cover?

Leave your experiences in the comments below!

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